The media luminaries have gone crazy after four journalists asked a series of legitimate questions about major international issues like immigration, national security, and trade policy of President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a joint press conference on Monday.
Media figures are furious that the journalists asked about real issues affecting people in both countries—the United States and Canada—rather than parroting the same anti-Trump narrative about National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn that the media have been pushing all weekend.
Both leaders, Trump and Trudeau, called on two different journalists from their countries in the press conference. Trump called on Scott Thuman of ABC 7 in Washington—a Sinclair broadcasting affiliate—and Kaitlan Collins, The Daily Caller’s White House reporter. Thuman went first:
You just spoke about the desire to build bridges, although there are some notable and philosophical differences between yourself and Prime Minister Trudeau. I’m curious, as you move forward on issues from trade to terrorism, how do you see this relationship playing out? And are there any specific areas with which during your conversations today you each decided to perhaps alter or amend your stances already on those sensitive issues like terrorism and immigration?
Thuman threw in an extra question directed to Trudeau: “And, Prime Minister Trudeau, while only in its infancy so far, how do you see this relationship compared to that under the Obama administration?”
Trump and Trudeau both answered the completely legitimate questions clearly. Trump answered:
Well, we just began discussions. We are going to have a great relationship with Canada, maybe as good or better, hopefully, than ever before. We have some wonderful ideas on immigration. We have some, I think, very strong, very tough ideas on the tremendous problem that we have with terrorism. And I think when we put them all together, which will be very, very quickly — we have a group of very talented people — we will see some very, very obvious results. We’re also doing some cross-border things that will make it a lot easier for trade and a lot better and a lot faster for trade. We have — through technology, we have some really great ideas, and they’ll be implemented fairly quickly.
Trudeau offered the following answer:
One of the things we spoke about was the fact that security and immigration need to work very well together. And certainly Canada has emphasized security as we look towards improving our immigration system and remaining true to the values that we have. And we had a very strong and fruitful discussion on exactly that. There’s plenty that we can draw on each other from in terms of how we move forward with a very similar goal, which is to create free, open societies that keep our citizens safe. And that’s certainly something that we’re very much in agreement on.
Trudeau called on Tonda MacCharles of the Toronto Star’s Ottawa bureau.
“A little bit of a follow-on on my American colleague’s question,” MacCharles asked of President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau. “President Trump, you seem to suggest that Syrian refugees are a Trojan horse for potential terrorism, while the Prime Minister hugs refugees and welcomes them with open arms. So I’d like to know, are you confident the northern border is secure?”
Trump replied to the also completely legitimate question that America is worried about the northern border with Canada:
You can never be totally confident. But through the incredible efforts — already I see it happening — of formerly General Kelly, now Secretary Kelly, we have really done a great job. We’re actually taking people that are criminals — very, very hardened criminals in some cases, with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems — and we’re getting them out. And that’s what I said I would do. I’m just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large Electoral College vote. And I knew that was going to happen. I knew this is what people were wanting. And that wasn’t the only reason, that wasn’t my only thing that we did so well on. But that was something was very important. And I said we will get the criminals out, the drug lords, the gang members. We’re getting them out. General Kelly, who is sitting right here, is doing a fantastic job. And I said at the beginning we are going to get the bad ones — the really bad ones, we’re getting them out. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. I think that in the end everyone is going to be extremely happy. And I will tell you right now, a lot of people are very, very happy right now.
Trudeau answered the question in English thus:
Canada has always understood that keeping Canadians safe is one of the fundamental responsibilities of any government. And that’s certainly something that we’re very much focused on. At the same time, we continue to pursue our policies of openness towards immigration, refugees, without compromising security. And part of the reason we have been successful in doing that over the past year — welcoming close to 40,000 Syrian refugees — is because we have been coordinating with our allies, the United States and around the world, to demonstrate that security comes very seriously to us. And that’s something that we continue to deal with.
In French, Trudeau added—according to a translation provided by the White House— there needs to be a focus on security.
“It is clear that if you want to have a healthy and secure society or safe society, you have to make sure that you maintain — that you focus on security,” Trudeau said. “And we have welcomed refugees from Syria. We have been very successful, but we have always taken our responsibility toward security very seriously. And our allies, including the United States, understand this focus very well. And they have done so since the very beginning.”
Kaitlan Collins of The Daily Caller was next. After President Trump called on her, she asked completely legitimate questions of both Trump and Trudeau.
“President Trump, now that you’ve been in office and received intelligence briefings for nearly one month, what do you see as the most important national security matters facing us?” Collins asked. “And, Prime Minister Trudeau, you’ve made very clear that Canada has an open-door policy for Syrian refugees. Do you believe that President Trump’s moratorium on immigration has merit on national security grounds?”
“Many, many problems,” Trump replied. He went on to say:
When I was campaigning, I said it’s not a good situation. Now that I see it — including with our intelligence briefings — we have problems that a lot of people have no idea how bad they are, how serious they are, not only internationally, but when you come right here. Obviously, North Korea is a big, big problem, and we will deal with that very strongly. We have problems all over the Middle East. We have problems just about every corner of the globe, no matter where you look. I had a great meeting this weekend with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and got to know each other very, very well — extended weekend, really. We were with each other for long periods of time, and our staffs and representatives. But on the home front, we have to create borders. We have to let people that can love our country in, and I want to do that. We want to have a big, beautiful, open door, and we want people to come in and come in our country. But we cannot let the wrong people in, and I will not allow that to happen during this administration. And people — citizens of our country want that, and that’s their attitude, too. I will tell you, we are getting such praise for our stance, and it’s a stance of common sense — maybe a certain toughness, but it’s really more than toughness, it’s a stance of common sense — and we are going to pursue it vigorously. And we don’t want to have our country have the kinds of problems that you’re witnessing taking place not only here but all over the world. We won’t stand for it. We won’t put up with it. We’re just not going to let it happen. We’re going to give ourselves every bit of chance so that things go well for the United States. And they will go well.
“Canada and the United States have been neighbors a long time, and Canadians and Americans have stood together, worked together at home and around the world,” Trudeau said in response to his question, continuing:
We’ve fought and died together in battlefields in World War I and World War II, in Korea, in Afghanistan. But there have been times where we have differed in our approaches, and that’s always been done firmly and respectfully. The last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern themselves. My role and our responsibility is to continue to govern in such a way that reflects Canadians’ approach and be a positive example in the world.
The last question went to Richard Latendresse of Groupe TVA, a Canadian television broadcaster picked out to be called on by Trudeau—who asked yet another completely legitimate question about trade policy between the United States and Canada. He asked about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of both Trump and Trudeau.
“Mr. Prime Minister, if I heard you correctly, you said that Canadian businesses, Canadian workers are concerned for their businesses and for their work and jobs concerning the renegotiation of NAFTA,” he asked of Trudeau in French as translated by the White House. “So what guarantees did you get from this government that we will keep our jobs and our businesses in the renegotiation of NAFTA?”
“Mr. President, again, during the last three months, you have denounced NAFTA,” he asked of Trump. “You have talked over and over about the Mexican portion of the agreement, very little about the Canadian one. My question is in two short part is, is Canada a fair trader? And when you talk about changes to NAFTA concerning Canada, are you talking about big changes or small changes?”
In reply, in French first as translated by the White House, Trudeau said he looks forward to working on trade policy with the United States:
It is a real concern for many Canadians because we know that our economy is very dependent on our bonds, our relationship with the United States. Goods and services do cross the border each way every single day, and this means a lot of millions of jobs for Canadians, and good jobs for Canadians. So we are always focusing on these jobs, but there are also good jobs, millions of jobs, in the United States that depend on those relationships between our two countries. So when we sit down as we did today, and as our teams will be doing in the weeks and months to come, we will be talking about how we can continue to create good jobs for our citizens on both sides of the border. And during this exercise, we continue to understand that we have to allow this free flow of goods and services, and we have to be aware of the integration of our economies, which is extremely positive for both our countries. And this is the focus that we will have in the coming weeks and months to come.
Trudeau added more in English:
Canadians are rightly aware of the fact that much of our economy depends on good working relationships with the United States, a good integration with the American economy. And the fact is, millions of good jobs on both sides of the border depend on the smooth and easy flow of goods and services and people back and forth across our border. And both President Trump and I got elected on commitments to support the middle class, to work hard for people who need a real shot at success. And we know that by working together, by ensuring the continued effective integration of our two economies, we are going to be creating greater opportunities for middle-class Canadians and Americans now and well into the future.
Trump’s reply similarly included strong commitments to stand up for the middle class:
I agree with that 100 percent. We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada. We’ll be tweaking it. We’ll be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries. It’s a much less severe situation than what’s taking place on the southern border. On the southern border, for many, many years, the transaction was not fair to the United States. It was an extremely unfair transaction. We’re going to work with Mexico, we’re going to make it a fair deal for both parties. I think that we’re going to get along very well with Mexico; they understand and we understand. You probably have noticed that Ford is making billions of dollars of new investments in this country. You saw Intel the other day announce that because of what I’ve been doing and what I’m doing in terms of regulation — lowering taxes, et cetera — they’re coming in with billions and billions of dollars of investment, and thousands of thousands of jobs. General Motors, likewise, is expanding plants and going to build new plants. Fiat Chrysler was at a meeting where they’re doing the same. Jack Ma — we have so many people that want to come into the United States. It’s actually very exciting. I think it’s going to be a very exciting period of time for the United States and for the workers of the United States, because they have been truly the forgotten man and forgotten women. It’s not going to be forgotten anymore, believe me. So our relationship with Canada is outstanding, and we’re going to work together to make it even better. And as far as the southern border is concerned, we’re going to get that worked out. We’re going to make it fair, but we are going to make it so that everybody is happy. It’s very important to me.
But if someone were to be monitoring any legacy establishment media outlets throughout the day on Monday, none of those completely legitimate and newsworthy questions that were asked at the White House on Monday were of significance. In fact, the media as a whole has lost the plot—and lost their minds—since Collins, MacCharles, Thuman, and Latendresse did not ask about the Flynn story and instead focused on important and, presumably, newsworthy issues like trade, immigration, refugees, the economy, and national security.
Many establishment media figures bashed the four reporters for asking the legitimate questions.
Reporters covering the White House who fail to ask the president about the most pressing news of the day should be ashamed of themselves.
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) February 13, 2017
Biggest papers in U.S. blare headlines on embattled National Security Adviser Flynn. Trump calls on WJLA & Daily Caller, no Flynn questions.
— Jonathan Weisman (@jonathanweisman) February 13, 2017
Stunning that not one reporter asked Trump to respond to reports about Flynn pre-inaugural contacts w Russians about sanctions
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) February 13, 2017
By handpicking reporters, Trump manages to get through news conference without being asked about Flynn.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) February 13, 2017
I asked Sinclair's VP of News about their reporter's decision not to ask Trump about Flynn. His response: pic.twitter.com/s5mKBZuVs5
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) February 13, 2017
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) February 13, 2017
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) February 13, 2017